A father and son pilot team are taking to the air to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, launching Saturday in Ottawa and landing Sunday in Baddeck, N.S., the first stop on a trip around the world.
Bob Dengler, who’s in his mid-70s, and his son, Steven Dengler, are even bringing along former NHL hockey star Guy Lafleur for the Ottawa-to-Baddeck leg to add some Canadian panache to their voyage — the first global circumnavigation by helicopter and the first aerial one by a father and son. The venture is called C150 Global Odyssey.
First stop: Baddeck
The Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site in Baddeck was a natural pit stop, said Steven Dengler.
“Bell bankrolled and was a patron of powered flight in Canada,” he told Information Morning Cape Breton on Friday.
“Some of the descendents of Alexander Graham Bell, I understand, are going to be at the site.”
He said Parks Canada gave him and his father special permission to land their helicopter, a Bell 429 light twin model, at the park where they and their celebrity guest will have a public meet-and-greet.
The trip will include stops in every provincial and territorial capital as well as visits to a number of East Coast landmarks, including Signal Hill in St. John’s, N.L., Gros Morne National Park in western Newfoundland and near the Confederation Bridge.
‘A pretty good look at Canada’
The trip across Canada will include remote, hard-to-reach areas that will be filmed and streamed live from the helicopter cockpit, said Bob Dengler.
“We’ll get a pretty good look at Canada from one end to the other.”
The entire trip is expected to take 35-40 days and cover 39,000 kilometres with over 100 stops in 14 countries.
The project has taken on a life of its own, said Steven Dengler.
All through Russia and Europe, dignitaries are coming out to participate in events surrounding their stops on the global journey by air, he said.
“In London, we’ve got the high commissioner coming. In Prague, we’ve got the ambassador coming out. The international trade commissioner in Warsaw wants to get involved. What’s happening is as the trip becomes more real and more people hear about, it gets more complicated — we’re victims of our own success,” he said.
“We didn’t know it was going to get as big as it did.”
C150 Global Odyssey, a registered Canadian charity, will donate funds raised from the trip to True Patriot Love, a veterans’ charity, and Southlake…